Copycat Milano sandwich cookies that are healthier, easy to make, snappy and delicious, and made vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free using oat flour, aquafaba.
Healthy Milano Sandwich Cookies
Copycat Milano sandwich cookies are so easy to make healthier, and I think they taste better than the commercial Milano cookie put out by the company, Pepperidge Farm.
In fact, this recipe tastes closer to the commercial recipe than other copycat recipes probably because oat flour tastes so vanilla-y. And the oat flour allows the texture of the cookie to be snappy, just like a true Milano.
What Are Milano Cookies?
I probably don't have to describe them to you but I will. Milano cookies are thin, snappy, oval sandwich cookies filled with a chocolate fudge. I made a copycat version of their original flavor here, but their manufacturer also produces the cookie in many flavors including double chocolate, orange chocolate and mint. Of course my recipe can be adapted to create those flavors as well.
I grew up with Milano cookies as my go-to commercial cookie. I could eat a whole familiar white bag in seconds lol, and we loved to include them as long-car-ride snacks. However, they are full of preservatives and additives and certainly not vegan.
So I decided to create the cookie so it is vegan, but also gluten-free.
How to Make Healthier Milano Sandwich Cookies
This path starts and ends with healthier ingredients. So what might those ingredients be? You might think a cookie like this needs eggs for structure and certainly needs all purpose flour or a commercial gluten-free baking mix.
This cookies come out perfectly using aquafaba instead of eggs, and oat flour instead of all purpose or a gluten-free flour mix.
That made me happy because I have one daughter who can't eat gluten, and another who can't eat gluten-free flour mixes because of all the ingredients such as rice flour and tapioca. The one flour they agree on is oat flour. So I have been trying hard to use it in my inventions these days.
Ingredients to Make Healthy Milano Cookies
The ingredients are so few and familiar that you probably have them all in your pantry. All except maybe oat flour, but if you have rolled oats just grind them into a powder in a blender. Here is the full list:
1. Oat flour. I have been using oat flour in everything lately instead of all purpose for my gluten-free baby. I don't like to use GF mixes because my other daughter - as I mentioned - is allergic to the variety of things you find in GF flour. So oat flour is perfect for them both. Plus I love that oat flour is easy now to find in grocery stores or online, and it is very inexpensive, at least a third of the price of say, almond flour. If you don't have access to oat flour however and want to make these milanos today, just use all purpose flour. You'll need to use a bit less.
2. Butter. Of course I mean vegan butter to make these cookies vegan. I used Earthbalance sticks. Real butter will work for my non-vegan friends. Soften the stick before blending to be sure if mixes in well.
3. Powdered sugar. I mean powdered sugar here, not sugar that you grind up as you'll find I call for in my Fluffy Vanilla Cake Recipe. I use vegan brands that don't have bonechar.
4. Aquafaba. The liquid from an unsalted chickpea can or box. Wholefood's has begun selling boxes so that's what I am referring to when I say box. Be sure your aquafaba is at room temperature. Open the box, drain the aquafaba into a jar and measuring out the amount you need for this recipe. Then refrigerate the jar for a week to use in other recipes. I also freeze my extra aquafaba in 2 tbsp amounts in ice cube trays because it really doesn't last in the refrigerator for longer than a week.
5. Vanilla. Gosh this stuff is expensive. I wanted to add more because Milanos are so vanilla-y but it is expensive so I kept it to 1 tsp. But I do think the cookie deserves 2 tsp. Also if you can, buy the expensive brands. It really is amazing the difference in flavor. Also don't forget the pinch of salt.
Oh and for the filling I melted chocolate chips. I used Enjoylife semi-sweet chips, and added a tsp of coconut oil.
That's it! Such a short list for such an amazing cookie.
What is the First Sandwich Cookie?
Well, it's not the Milano Sandwich Cookies.
It's a cookie that looks more like an Oreo cookie, according to Wikipedia. The first sandwich cookie was invented in 1882 by entrepreneur Jacob Loose who bought a company called Sunshine Biscuits and eventually in 1908 launched a sandwich cookie called "Hydrox". The name apparently was meant to imply that the cookie was healthy, made of only hydrogen and oxygen like water.
Kind of odd. Well, I wish I could share my healthier Milano sandwich cookie recipe with Mr. Loose. I think he would be impressed that I used only oat flour and aquafaba.
Steps to Make Copycat Milano Cookies
1. Gather ingredients, oat flour, powdered sugar, aquafaba, butter and vanilla.
2. Mix them up. I simply hand-mixed them in a measuring cup.
3. Put the batter into a frosting bag with the tip cut off revealing a 1-inch opening.
4. Pipe the batter in 3-inch lines, separated by 2 inches. The cookies will spread. Also, I provide a downloadable line template if that's helpful. Just click here to download it as a PDF, print it out and slip it beneath parchment in your quarter-sized cookie sheet. Pipe along the lines you can see through the parchment, then slide the paper template out from under the parchment.
5. Bake the cookies at 350 F for 20 minutes or until edges are faintly brown.
6. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet.
7. Melt chocolate chips and a bit of coconut oil for 60 seconds in a microwave. Stir until all chips are melted. Spoon the melted chocolate down the center of the inside of a cookie and press another on top.
8. Let them set before jostling them much.
These cookies store well in a sealed container for a few days, and then refrigerate although they will lose their crispiness.
Other Vegan Cookies You Will Love
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Healthy Milano Sandwich Cookies
- Print my template, line a quarter cookie sheet with parchment paper and slide my paper template beneath so the lines show through the parchment.
- Preheat the oven at 350 F.
- Add ingredients to a bowl and blend up until creamy.
- Spoon your batter into a frosting bag with the tip cut off. I cut the tip so the opening is about 1-inch and push it into a glass to make filling it easier.
- Pipe 3-inch cookies along the lines you see through the parchment paper.
- Slide the paper template out from beneath the parchment paper
- Bake 20 minutes or until edges are tinged with brown.
- Let the cookies cool in the pan. Transfer them to a cooling rack.
- When the cookies are cooled, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave for 60 seconds. Stir the chocolate until all chips are melted. Spread the chocolate on one side of a cookies, and press another on top.
- They will set fairly fast.
Store the Cookies
- Store them at room temperature in a sealed container for 2-3 days or refrigerate for a week. They can also probably be frozen fairly well.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. On this blog you'll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.